"Laverne" must be mad at me!


10 Years
Jul 28, 2009
Mesa, Arizona
So about a month ago, I got three new chickens- 12 week olds...they are kept adjacent to my original twosome- "Laverne" and "Shirley" (my buff orps) Since I couldn't house them together, they are side by side, only blocked off by a "wall" of chicken wire- so they can see each other but not peck at each other yet...and to ease any stress I've let them free range in the yard every weekend (I've got dogs that would enjoy a nice chicken lunch while I'm at work so during the weekdays they are confined to their coop and run) I thought everything would be cool, and they could be friendly "neighbors" until the 'youngins' were old enough to be housed with L&S. (sidenote, L&S are coming up on 1 year old) I got my original two locally from a family who had too many birds, so they've been with other chickens before...the only thing I can think of is that they got spoiled having the whole joint to themselves...

anyways...about 10 days ago, Laverne has stopped laying! I thought to myself "oh, she's just mad, it won't last" but now it has been ten days! Shirley is a doll and is still laying like clockwork. Nothing at all from Laverne. Is she getting ready to molt? (sp?) Is she just ticked off at me? Is there anything I can do to help? If it's stress I thought it would affect both original birds, but it's just the one. They are the same age, so I am baffled.
the weather here in AZ has been great- and they've both been amazing layers until now. I'm curious to know why one would all of the sudden just stop. I am still in my first year with chickens so I'm out of my element...

I'd appreciate all opinions, advice, and feedback.
Is she showing any other odd behaviour? If she's spending more time in the nest box and acting a bit grumpy I'd say she's broody or thinking about going broody. Orpingtons are one of the more broody breeds so I'd check into that--also is there anywhere in the coop/run that she could be hiding a nest? If you don't think broodiness is a possibility give her a good going over for external parasites, good weight, etc.

ETA: My buff orp took about a week off earlier this month and I never did figure out why. I only have the one orp so I don't know if a sudden strike is common with these girls or not.
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